Bachelor of Sciences in Biology

The study of biology imparts knowledge of the fundamental processes on which life – from the simplest bacteria to the human being – is based. This includes development and behaviour of organisms,  their interaction with the environment and of course the molecular mecanisms governing gene regulation, cell biology and homeostasis. In addition to lectures, the study programme contains exercises, practical training and seminars, as well as a Bachelor's thesis project to be taken in a research unit.

Degree Conferred
Bachelor of Science in Biology

Language(s) of Study
French and German

Programme Structure
120 ECTS credits (major)
+60 ECTS credits (1-2 minors)
6 semesters full-time

Programme Start

Additional Information
RegulationsStudy PlansStudent Advisor

Travail de Bachelor

Enseignement au secondaire (DAES 1, DEEM)


  • Profile and Options

    The first academic year is the same for all students and constitutes the scientific foundation for the higher semesters. It imparts the necessary and indispensable scientific basic knowledge for the study of biology, the so-called propaedeutic subjects (general biology, organism biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics). During the second and third years, depending on the student's interests, a specialisation in Biology I (organism biology, evolution and ecology) or Biology II (molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics and cell biology) is chosen. Both orientations are, however, not entirely independent of each other, because many lectures and practical courses are common to both. They can also in part be combined with each other. 
    Whether the orientation Biology I or Biology II is chosen, the Bachelor's programme consists of the major subject, plus one or two selectable additional subjects. The major subject includes the propaedeutic subjects as well as many lectures, exercises, practical courses, seminars and a Bachelor's thesis in a research unit. The courses in biology are held in German and French.

    Biology I 
    Ecology consists of the study of living organism and their interplay with their biotic environment – the other living organisms – and the biologically dead environment. The understanding of this interrelationship is seen solely within the context of evolutionary theory. 
    These two aspects are thus closely linked to each other. The areas of ecology and evolution are encompassing and varied, ranging from the study of micro-organisms to the study of natural ecosystems, from the dynamics of populations to the understanding of the processes of species creation. Because of the global changes that are due to human activities, ecology has become a main issue in society. The protection of biological diversity, the study of biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems are very active areas of research. Due to its diversity, the study of ecology and evolution calls for a solid basis in general and molecular biology, genetics, and knowledge of species, but also in chemistry, physics and especially mathematics and statistics. This orientation covers different areas, whereby theoretical lectures, laboratory courses, and field work are offered.

    Biology II 
    The lectures in this orientation course are strongly focused on research projects within the field of zoology and plant biology conducted in molecular biology on animal and plant model systems (C. elegans, Drosophila, zebrafish, mouse, Arabidopsis and Petunia). In addition to the conventional strategies in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics and cell biology, the spectrum of experimental methods also encompasses other modern techniques, such as fluorescence and confocal microscopy, «high throughput» DNA sequencing and analysis of results with bioinformatic methods, purification and analysis of protein complexes and mass spectroscopy, PCR and the production of transgenic microorganisms, plants or animals.


  • Organisation and Admission

    The following Swiss school-leaving certificates grant admission to Bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg:

    • Swiss academic Maturity Certificate
    • Swiss professional Maturity Certificate in conjunction with the supplementary exam certificate from the Swiss Maturity Commission
    • Bachelor Degree from a Swiss university, from an accredited Swiss university of applied sciences (HES/FH) or from a Swiss university of teacher education (HEP/PH)

    A complete list of all further recognized Swiss school-leaving certificates is to be found on the webpage
    swissuniversities (in French and German only)

    Foreign upper secondary school-leaving certificates are recognised only if they correspond substantially to the Swiss Maturity Certificate. They must qualify as general education. Foreign school-leaving certificates are considered to be general education if the last three years of schooling include at least six general education subjects, independent from each other, in accordance with the following list:

    1. First language (native language)
    2. Second language
    3. Mathematics
    4. Natural sciences (biology, chemistry or physics)
    5. Humanities and social sciences (geography, history or economics/law)
    6. Elective (an additional language or an additional subject from category 4 or 5)


    The general admission requirements to the Bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg for holders of foreign school-leaving certificates as well as the admission requirements for individual countries are to be found on the webpages of swissuniversitiesIn addition, foreign candidates must present proof of sufficient language skills in French or German.


    Mode d'enseignement

    • Les cours initient à la rigueur et à la démarche scientifique. Ils permettent d'acquérir les connaissances essentielles et à comprendre les concepts fondamentaux
    • Les exercices accompagnent les cours en contribuant à la compréhension et à l'assimilation de leur contenu. Ils donnent l'occasion d'appliquer les principes généraux et d'exercer des techniques et méthodes.
    • Les travaux pratiques sont à la base de la démarche scientifique. Les étudiant-es sont confronté-es à des expériences de biologie, apprennent à utiliser diverses techniques spécifiques et exercent leur sens de
    • l'observation, de l'analyse critique et de l'interprétation des résultats.
    • Les séminaires sont des exposés suivis d'une discussion sur un thème de recherche spécifique. Les séminaires sont donnés par des experts invités ou par des étudiants.
    • Le travail de Bachelor (13 points ECTS) est une initiation à la recherche scientifique au sein d'une équipe de recherche. Il est entrepris sous la direction d'un chercheur ou d'une chercheuse expérimenté-e.


    Langue d'enseignement

    Les enseignements des études de BSc sont donnés en français ou en allemand. Toutefois, l'étudiant-e a toujours la possibilité de s'exprimer dans l'une ou l'autre de ces langues. Les enseignements peuvent parfois être donnés en anglais. Le rapport de travail de Bachelor peut être rédigé en français, allemand ou anglais.

  • Choice of Minor Study Programmes
    Minors at the Faculty of Science and Medicine
    Study Programme ECTS
    Mathematics 30  |  60*
    Informatics 30  |  60*


    30^  |  60*
    Chemistry 30  |  60*
    Earth Sciences 30  |  60
    Geography 30  |  60*
    Special Biology (for Biologists and Biochemists) 30
    Biologie A 30
    Biologie B


    Biologie E (LDM)



    30  |  60

    Neurosciences 30
    Environmental Sciences 30  |  60
    Sport Sciences and Motor Control  30  |  60*

    ^ Mathematik als zweites Zusatz-/Nebenfach empfohlen
    * Dieses Studienprogramm auf Bachelorstufe, ergänzt durch das entsprechende Studienprogramm auf Masterstufe, gibt im Rahmen des Lehrdiploms für Maturitätsschulen (LDM) Zugang zur pädagogisch-didaktischen Ausbildung im entsprechenden Unterrichtsfach.

    Minors at all Faculties

    Complete list of available minor programmes (see bottom of the page)


  • Mobility